There were some women also watching from a distance, among them being Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James the Little and of Joseph, and Salome –
a beautiful recognition
is no less beautiful
for its distance
what has been known
even when we are a tree
walking around strolling
we can see as we’re seen
mothers anonymous is on duty
guarding and guiding
Watching, even from afar, is a form of wakefulness the disciples were not able to accomplish at Gethsemane. As ineffective as such a watch is regarding changing the arc of consequences, it does witness and learn.
Unlike the anonymous women previously encountered, these women are named (Mary, Mary, and Salome) and parallel the three male disciples of Peter, James, and John.
Mary Magdalene does not here carry Luke’s seven demons. She is important enough to be named. The other Mary harkens back to Jesus in his hometown where he is known as the son of Mary and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon. In keeping with Mark’s style, this is a sufficient reference. In keeping with previous comments (3:31–35) about who is family, Mary is not called Jesus’ mother.
Sabin1195, speaks of “theological irony” at this point:
Jesus’ miracles are rejected earlier because he is too common, too ordinary; yet those very miracles, as we have repeatedly seen, are aimed at making the common and ordinary holy. So here his mother, a common woman the homefolks think could not possibly be the mother of a prophet, is shown to be acting with uncommon faithfulness. It is very much to the point that Mark describes Jesus’ mother Mary as neither more nor less than “Mary of Magdala.”
The women play a middle role between the insiders (the Twelve and the Three) and the outsiders (antagonists and mockers). They watch; they wait. This middle position is where the storyline will continue. The disciples are scattered and the mockers have seen the end-of-the-matter. It is in this middle position where what we call hope lives and acts.
Even when powerless, we can witness wrong and attend to common decency.